Our Art / Jacopo Ligozzi / Portrait of Pope Clement VIII

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Portrait of Pope Clement VIII by Jacopo Ligozzi on the Depict FramePortrait of Pope Clement VIII by Jacopo Ligozzi
Portrait of Pope Clement VIII by Jacopo Ligozzi

Portrait of Pope Clement VIII, 1600

Jacopo Ligozzi

This portrait is made of cut stone inlaid with gems, using a technique called “commesso”. According to a source from the time, commesso was thought to be the best art-making process “to preserve antiquity and memory...and resist all the battles of water and wind and other mishaps of fortune and of time.” The rigidity of a mosaic and the luminescence of the stones, which were thought to carry intrinsic symbolic values, give this image an austere power. It’s not surprising the artist would have wanted to make this portrait last, since the pope’s job was to preserve antique culture and learning.

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Credit
The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles
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